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2003-04 NFB:AE Board of Directors

President: John Rae

John Rae is a Program Officer in the Accessibility Directorate of the Ontario Ministry of Citizenship in Toronto. During his 23-year career in theOntario Public Service, he was a Consultant with the Centre for Disability and Work and later an Education Officer with the former Employment EquityCommission.

John Rae has been a Board Member of many human and disability rights organisations. He has been President of PAL Reading Service, the Canadian Legal Advocacy, Information and Research Association of the Disabled(CLAIR), the Blind Organization of Ontario with Self- Help Tactics, (BOOST)and the Don Vale Community Centre. He also spent two years on the Board of BALANCE, which he has supported since its earliest days, and Co-chaired the Coalition on Human Rights for the Handicapped, which obtained the first human rights coverage for persons with disabilities in Ontario.

In April 2000, he received the Individual Human Rights Award from the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU), and currently serves on several Committees within the Canadian Labour movement at the provincial and national levels.

John Rae is a world traveler, who is interested in many kinds of music, history, reading and writing.

Contact John Rae via e-mail:

First Vice President: Beryl Williams

Beryl Williams was born in England in 1939, and came to Canada in 1964, settling in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. She has experienced significant sight loss since her teen years. She was educated in a mainstream environment throughout her education, and trained as an early Childhood teacher and worked for five years in this capacity in the U.K.

Beryl Williams has three children, and four grandchildren. Since her husband's retirement, they have been returning to the U.K. for three months every winter and enjoy returning regularly to their roots with all its early memories, family and friends .

She considers herself very fortunate to have been introduced to computers and all the wonderful world of communication and information it avails.

She enjoys the spoken word and music from all available sources, and loves to cook and bake for friends and family. She also enjoys walking, swimming and cross country skiing.

Beryl Williams has a keen interest in social activism, along with a critical and enquiring interest in world politics and the social order.

Blindness has always been a significant factor in her life and that of her family, which has fueled a keen desire to seek solutions to blindness-related concerns and issues.

Contact Beryl Williams via e-mail:

Second Vice President: Paul E. Thiele

Paul Thiele was born in Poland, and grew up in Germany. He was born totally blind due to congenital cataracts, regained 10% eyesight after a series of operations, and came to Canada in 1958.

Paul Thiele holds a BA. in Sociology and Literature and an M.A. in Comparative Literature from the University of B.C. Paul Thiele was Founder and Director of the Crane Library and ResourceCentre at the University of B.C. Prior to taking early retirement, he wasSenior Client Advisor, Crane Library and UBC Disability Resource Centre, and he has also taught courses in Special Education and Library Science.

His many involvements include the B.C. Premier's Advisory Committee for Persons with Disabilities, UNESCO mission to Kenya and Eastern Africa to establish post secondary student support systems for blind and vision-impaired students in Eastern Africa, founding member of the International Federation of Library Association's Committee on Services and Technical Supports for the Blind, 1981 International Year of Disabled Persons federal and provincial organizing committees, and he is currently Chair of the National Board of Directors, VOICEPRINT/National Broadcast Reading Service.

Paul Thiele is currently enrolled in Computer Studies at Vancouver Community College, and is establishing a private consulting / advisory / case management company for blind, vision-impaired and physically disabled persons.

He was recently appointed to the Canadian Network for Cultural Exchange (CNICE) Advisory Panel, - a project spear-headed by the Adaptive Technology Centre, University of Toronto, whose purpose "is to ensure that Canadian cultural content on-line and the tools to participate in creating this content are accessible to everyone in Canada, including persons with disabilities".

Contact Paul Thiele via e-mail:

Treasurer: Denise Sanders

Denise Sanders has been employed with the C.O. Elizabeth Fry Society in Kelowna for six years as Administrative Facilitator. Her career background has included owner of a telephone answering service and administrative positions with various organizations.

In 1996, she joined the NFB:AE and has been President of the Kelowna Chapter for the past four years.

Contact Denise Sanders via e-mail:

Secretary: Marcia Cummings

Marcia Cummings was born and raised in North York, now part of the mega city of Toronto.

After attending nursery school and kindergarten in her own neighbourhood, she spent three years at the Ontario School for the Blind (since renamed the W. Ross Macdonald School). However, to her great delight, her parents were approached during the third year with an offer of schooling for her back home in North York. They gladly agreed, and she finished elementary, junior high and high school there.

After high school, she attended Trebas Institute of Recording Arts, but was unable to break into the music industry, and therefore sought a job elsewhere.

Marcia Cummings became the first blind Customer Service Representative at Rogers Cable TV-Toronto, and has assisted in training other successful candidates over the past sixteen years.

Marcia Cummings is active in the Ontarians with Disabilities Act (ODA) Committee, and has attended all-candidates' meetings, committee hearings and other events on their behalf. She is very interested in increasing public education about people with disabilities and their right to respect and dignity.

Contact Marcia Cummings via e-mail:

Director Without Portfolio: Brian Moore

Brian Moore was born in Montreal. He obtained a B.S.W. from the University of Calgary, and worked as a social worker for several years before changing careers in 1996.

Brian Moore is now a Technical Support Consultant, with Frontier Computing in Toronto, and describes himself as a "computer nerd."

Brian Moore is currently Chair of Balance, a life skills program for adults who are blind in Toronto. He is recently married, obtained a dog guide named Theo and loves history and reading.

Contact Brian Moore via e-mail:

Director Without Portfolio: Linda Bartram

Linda Bartram is married with two boys in their late teens. She has a background in physiotherapy, having worked both in England and Victoria, BC.

More recently she completed a Certificate in Gerontology and is working part-time for the Vancouver Island Health Authority. She also has a Fitness Instructors certificate and has been trained as a peer counselor.

Linda Bartram has held many volunteer positions and served on several boards, both at her Church and at the CNIB. She founded the Visually Impaired Parents' Support group and is one of the co-founders of the Retinitis Pigmentosa Resource Network.

She coordinates the CNIB Info Line in Victoria. She also loves to travel, garden and pursue other outdoor recreational activities, and of course, her guide dog, Kirsty.

Contact Linda Bartram via e-mail:

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